TAMPA, Florida – Here in Tampa, hundreds of people lined up for hours on Dale Mabry and Himes Avenue to show their support for their families and friends back in Cuba.
“Viva Cuba Libre” or “Vive Cuba Libre” is the song hundreds of protesters shouted for hours as they lined Himes Avenue.
“We want a completely free Cuba, our brother is in Cuba doing the same for a free Cuba and they in Cuba are shooting at our brothers in Cuba,” said Julian Rodriguez, who left Cuba for the United States. .
The protests here in Florida came in response to the protests in Cuba.
They say the protests erupted at the last minute to show support for their family and friends who take to the streets at their homes.
“We want our country to be free. It’s a beautiful island, it’s a beautiful country, but the Castros and their communism have been over 60 years. We’re just fed up, ”said Carlos Rodriguez who moved to the United States with his mother and brother from Cuba.
The Cuban protests are calling for an end to communism, and they are also protesting the food shortages that many people in the country suffer from.
“They have to queue for bread, sometimes there is no soap, sometimes there is no toothpaste, they have to wait for the rain to come to take showers, it’s horrible,” said Bryan Rodriguez who moved to the United States with his mother and brother. from Cuba.
On top of all this, they are protesting the high prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of vaccines and drugs.
Sulayne Lastra, whose family still lives in Cuba, says her boyfriend’s father is in desperate need of medicine.
“There is no medication, like his father, he has heart problems and there is no medication,” Lastra said.
They are asking for freedom at home so that their family members can live there but also have what we have here.
“People are dying in hospitals, we lack resources, we die and we feel it here too because they are our brothers, these are our sisters,” said Claudia Mojena.
They are also asking the Biden administration to step in and help.
“It’s not a red and blue thing, it’s not a Republican or Democratic thing, but someone has to step in. That’s it,” Carlos said.
Protesters said they would continue to demonstrate as long as their siblings in Cuba, in an effort to show their support.